Symptoms of Covid-19 and what to do if you might have it

Symptoms of the Covid-19 coronavirus have some things in common with a cold or flu, but this shows differences (it has been posted in comments but it’s worth repeating):

The article it is from is interesting too – Siouxsie Wiles: How testing for Covid-19 works

How the process runs, why we’re not testing everyone who feels ill, and something you can do online immediately and easily to help the fight against the virus.

What you can do to help

While the Ministry of Health look at other strategies for early detection of Covid-19, there is one we can all help with right now. We need every household in New Zealand to sign up to the FluTracking project. Each week you’ll be sent an email asking if anyone in your house has had a fever or cough. This information is being used as an early warning system for Covid-19.

So, in summary. If all you know about testing for infectious diseases is stuff you’ve been reading on the internet, then stop tweeting your reckons and firing off your hot takes. Sign up to FluTracking. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you start to develop any symptoms. If you’re unsure what those symptoms are, we’ve got you covered.

Check Spinoff cartoonist Toby Morris’s handy guide above or  click here for a printable, high-res PDF version.

Ministry of Health latest report:

New Zealand has twenty confirmed cases of COVID-19. For a summary of the current status see our latest media release (18 March).

More information is now available on our current cases page.

With continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low.

New border measures are in place as of Monday 16 March. Most travellers arriving in New Zealand are now required to self isolate for 14 days – check our information for travellers arriving to New Zealand to find out more.

If you have been overseas within the last 14 days and develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 or contact your GP, including phoning ahead of your visit.

For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.

Other information and advice:



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  1. They have just said on RNZ that it is expected that the virus may not peak in New Zealand until August. This is going to be a long haul.

  2. BBC: The UK is to shut schools – but they will still need to look after children of key workers

    • David

       /  19th March 2020

      Californian school kids wont be back until September by the looks of things, that is a long long time to have kids at home and you can hardly take them to the local pool or to their sports.
      The divorce rate is going to sky rocket, imagine being quarantined with 4 kids on lockdown, I would sooner have the damn virus.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th March 2020

    UK scientists develop an accurate test that could be used at home and gives results in 30 minutes. Regulatory approval would normally take six months.

    Oxford University scientists develop coronavirus test which can give results in just 30 minutes

    • mass testing certainly seems the way to go, so all power to these scientists

      “A scientific study, rolled out by the University of Padua, with the help of the Veneto Region and the Red Cross, consisted of testing all 3,300 inhabitants of the town, including asymptomatic people. The goal was to study the natural history of the virus, the transmission dynamics and the categories at risk.

      The researchers explained they had tested the inhabitants twice and that the study led to the discovery of the decisive role in the spread of the coronavirus epidemic of asymptomatic people.

      When the study began, on 6 March, there were at least 90 infected in Vò. For days now, there have been no new cases.

      “We were able to contain the outbreak here, because we identified and eliminated the ‘submerged’ infections and isolated them,” Andrea Crisanti, an infections expert at Imperial College London, who took part in the Vò project, told the Financial Times. “That is what makes the difference.”

      The research allowed for the identification of at least six asymptomatic people who tested positive for Covid-19. ‘‘If these people had not been discovered,” said the researchers, they would probably have unknowingly infected other inhabitants.

      “The percentage of infected people, even if asymptomatic, in the population is very high,” wrote Sergio Romagnani, professor of clinical immunology at the University of Florence, in a letter to the authorities. “The isolation of asymptomatics is essential to be able to control the spread of the virus and the severity of the disease.””

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th March 2020

        Yep. Bridges was asking the right questions and they need proper answers. His problem is he doesn’t do it in a statesman-like way but makes it sound like political point scoring which lets the Govt escape without answering.

      • Duker

         /  19th March 2020

        Mass testing for those without symptoms doesnt achieve anything unless you work with or have contact with confirmed case.
        Firstly it will overwelm the doctors surgery with worried well, making any appointments harder to get and its the opposite of social isolation as you are coming closer to the possible infected cohort who do need tests
        Secondly a clear test one day doesnt mean you cant get infected the next day.

    • Duker

       /  19th March 2020

      Its a Chinese University with an ‘Oxford’ name
      “Prof Zhanfeng Cui, the Director of the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR)”
      Suzhou is a satellite city of Shanghai

  4. Gezza

     /  19th March 2020

    I had a scheduled annual follow up ultrasound scan at Wellington Hospital this morning.

    The main entry reception desk & all the reception desks in the different departments have cones & barriers in front of them to maintain a 2 metre separation between the desk staff & patients. They don’t want you to hand over your appointment letter; you have to give your name & answer questions over the hubub of background hospital noise & other patient/staff interactions before being directed to the waiting areas.

    Nobody was wearing masks. People were trying to maintain physical separation in the department waiting rooms which was easy enough when there were only a few patients early in the morning. I expect it will be less so when the waiting rooms fill up later in the day.

    In the main reception area when my scan had been done a man had eventually been put on watch at the main entry twin-hand sanitiser station, stopping people who were going past it & directing them back to use the sanitisers. A couple of people got grumpy, but everybody complied. But it meant people ended up tightly bunched up in 2 queues to wait their turn.

    It all looks a bit ad hoc.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th March 2020

      The brains are overloaded leaving the numpties doing the best they can. Not healthy.

      • Gezza

         /  19th March 2020

        It’s ok now while the Covid-19 transmission rate & risk is likely still very low (for the hospital desk staff they’d be higher, especially if they were handling appointment letters). But it makes you wonder how well-planned the Covid-19 measures are in hospitals & elsewhere as these risks inevitably rise.

        I take the PM’s & Director-General of Health’s assurances NZ’s health services are well-placed to deal with an outbreak with little assurance.

        But we’ll just have to roll with its arrival & do our best to keep ourselves healthy & as practicably isolated for as long as possible, like everybody else has had to around the world.

        A woman I was talking to sneezed into the elbow of her jacket, two metres away. Good practice, but then if she went in to get her scan she’d be asked to put her jacket & other other items on the same chair for them in the scanning room that I was.

    • Corky

       /  19th March 2020

      ”It all looks a bit ad hoc.”

      That’s the problem from a National level right down to our personal lives. Everybody is singing from a different song sheet as regards measures they are taking. Politicians meanwhile are changing their minds constantly.

      The debrief when this crisis is over (?) will make for riveting viewing as those who have performed in a less than stella manner will rush to cover their arses.

  1. Symptoms of Covid-19 and what to do if you might have it — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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